SAO PAULO, Sept 21 State-controlled Brazilian
oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA is considering
lowering wholesale gasoline and diesel prices by year-end, which
would be the first time since September 2015, O Globo newspaper
said on Wednesday.
Citing sources close to management, the paper said the
company may cut prices of fuels at its refineries to match those
of international competitors.
In a news conference on Tuesday, Chief Executive Officer
Pedro Parente said the company would not need government
approval for a price adjustment, a change from the policy under
impeached President Dilma Rousseff.
"The main difference is that if we want to alter the price
today, we change it," Parente said. "We evaluate market
conditions. We don't have to ask anything of anyone. We can take
actions that attend to the interests of the company."
Petrobras derives nearly a third of its revenue from
domestic fuel sales. The lowering of gasoline prices would
squeeze the margins of Brazil's ethanol sector, which competes
directly with the petroleum-based fuel at the pump.
Large companies such as Raizen, Biosev and Sao
Martinho have been optimizing sugar production
because the sweetener offers returns superior to ethanol. A drop
in gasoline prices will make sugar even more attractive to
Petrobras shares were up 0.4 percent at 13.55 reais early on
(Reporting by Reese Ewing; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)